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Reading Berlin 1900

Reading Berlin 1900

Peter Fritzsche

ISBN 9780674037366

Publication date: 07/01/2009

The great cities at the turn of the century were mediated by words--newspapers, advertisements, signs, and schedules--by which the inhabitants lived, dreamed, and imagined their surroundings. In this original study of the classic text of urban modernism--the newspaper page--Peter Fritzsche analyzes how reading and writing dramatized Imperial Berlin and anticipated the modernist sensibility that celebrated discontinuity, instability, and transience. It is a sharp-edged story with cameo appearances by Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, and Alfred Döblin. This sumptuous history of a metropolis and its social and literary texts provides a rich evocation of a particularly exuberant and fleeting moment in history.


  • Fritzsche...does a nice job of reconstructing the city of words that Ullstein and other publishers reared in the newspaper district on the Kochstrasse.

    —Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books


  • Peter Fritzsche is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press

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